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Conference on the Holocaust and Human Rights.

21.02.2024 - 22.02.2024

Kazerne Dossin is a lieu de mémoire for the deportation of 25,490 Jews and 353 Roma from the Dossin barracks in Mechelen to Auschwitz-Birkenau and to a number of smaller concentration camps. Its mandate as a Holocaust memorial, museum and research centre includes attention to human rights. In doing so, the founders wished to remember the Shoah and engage in citizenship education.

For some, the link between education on the history of the Holocaust and the plea for respect of human rights has become self-evident. Others opt for a more guarded stance against the instrumentalisation of history or have other objections, such as political considerations or the unique features of the Shoah. Often people experience dilemmas in attempts to give meaning or contemporary relevance to historic facts from a difficult past.

In many instances remembrance is linked to an ambition for civic education. Reflection on historic events involve considerations on the fate of victims and leads to plea on the importance of democratic principles, human rights, the fight against racism, discrimination and antisemitism etc. Sometimes recourse to the past can take a more exclusionary turn, emphasize ‘us’ versus ‘them’ thinking. Whereas historians have warned
against drawing public lessons from major historical events, society at large seems to expect that the nature of the Shoah necessitates drawing such lessons.

Sustained reflection and discussion on the relationships of the legacies of the Shoah and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is meaningful and needed. With the following programme this international conference aims to encourage the sharing of interdisciplinary insights on the opportunities, barriers and challenges this entails.

The conference starts on Wednesday 21 February at 10:00 am and ends on Thursday 22 February at 12:30pm

If you want to join the conference or if you would need a formal conference invitation please contact Ms. Sana Atwa: or  +32 (0)15 29 06 60